Fake news is a serious problem for social media companies, who are spending a substantial amount every year in order to fight it. Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms out there that is handling sensitive user data. Back in 2016, the company announced its partnership with third-party fact checking organisations that will commence removing fake news from the platform. However, Facebook’s only fact-checking service in the Netherlands, the Dutch newspaper NU.nl, has just called it quits.
NU.nl’s editor-in-chief Gert-Jaap Hoekman announced the company’s decision via a blog post. As per the publication, in May this year, the Dutch politician Esther de Lange wanted to run an ad on Facebook. This ad made unverified claims that 10 percent of farmland in Romania is owned by non-Europeans, however, the fact-checkers couldn’t verify this claim and decided to label it as unsubstantiated.